The world is full of talented women who lead organizations, write books, and invent things. Yet, for every woman who makes it to the top, many give up. These career tips offer advice in the areas that women most often find challenging.
1. Speak up
In male-dominated industries, women workers often have trouble getting acknowledged. When they attempt to make a point, they may find that they are ignored. Women need to anticipate the trouble they will have gaining acknowledgement and find workarounds, say, by making their points while speaking to their bosses in private.
2. You do not need to give up on raising a family
Most ambitious women also have full families. While prioritizing responsibilities can take years of intense juggling, they do eventually find a balance. There’s nearly never a need to forgo family for career success.
3. Learn to promote yourself
In the workplace, credit goes to those who advertise what they do – something that is not easy for many women. No matter how uncomfortable self-promotion feels to you,doing it in a tasteful is an important skill to learn.
4. Consider turning entrepreneur
A study by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners finds that one in two women workers who quit corporate careers do it over the lack of flexibility that they encounter.
One in three who quit cite frustration with the glass ceiling. Getting ahead in one’s career does not have to involve a job at a company. Rather, it could be about quitting and setting up a business.
5. Find an employer who will incubate you
Dorothy Moore, author of Careerpreneurs, recommends that women employees hoping for entrepreneurial success find employers willing to help them learn the industry and learn the skills necessary to success in business – management, planning and execution. A few years in a fostering career corporate environment is an excellent way to get started on one’s own in business.
6. Read up on negotiating skills
When Sheryl Sandberg was tapped to join Facebook as its COO, she reportedly took what she was offered without negotiating. If women make less than men, one of the reasons for it is that they tend to not be aggressive about asking for what they deserve.
Every woman should educate herself in the art of negotiating. Reading up on the subject and understanding the changes you need to make is important to your career.
7. If you need to take a break, keep in touch
While it may be good idea to take a few years off work to raise a family, it should not be a break so complete that you lose touch with your contacts and let your qualifications fade into irrelevance.
Keeping in touch on LinkedIn, doing occasional freelance work and keeping yourself updated with an online degree or two will all make sure that when you are ready to pick up where you left off one day, you will be completely ready.
8. Seek a mentor
A mentor is an experienced hand in your industry who can give you perspective when you don’t see the bigger picture. He or she can play a proactive role in your career by giving you advice and directing your plans.
You should take the time to identify a leader and commit yourself to getting their attention. If they agree to mentor you, you should work hard to live up to the trust that they place in you.
9. Say yes to every assignment
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Wellpoint CEO Angela Brownlee recommends that women workers never back down from unpleasant assignments. Taking up the messiest and most difficult jobs that no one else wants in an excellent way to turn into a go-to person at your place of work.
10. Learn everything
If you plan to rise to the top of your industry, you need to know everything at the bottom. Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison made a point of working as a factory hand when she was a VP, to make sure that she appreciated every part of the manufacturing process.
If you are just starting out in your career, having a resume that reflects that you are not afraid of learning every part of the business will make you stand out.